American Lit Podcast #2: Nathaniel Hawthorne "Young Goodman Brown"

Why would an upright young citizen of Salem, with a new wife and a proud family tradition behind him, risk the good opinion of his neighbors, all for a romp in the woods with the wicked?  If society is rotten to the core, and your minister, your Sunday school teacher, even the spirit of your pious old father, are all secretly in league with – well, your Sunday school teacher…

American Lit Podcast #1: Washington Irving "The Wife"

Sometimes we’re tempted to think that people who lived “back in the day” were simpler and less sophisticated than we are, and perhaps because Rip Van Winkle celebrates a simple soul, we might think that the author himself was also simple. Irving, born in New York City in the late 1700s, wrote early biographies of George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and thus was a prominent part of the process of forming…

This year's advice for journalism students

Anytime you post online, you publish. Anything you say or do that might be posted by someone else reflects upon that brand that you’ll be working so hard to build. Don’t undercut your hard work with moments of Facebook foolishness. Nor should you stop reporting when you surf for fun online. Stories can emerge from anywhere. Soak in all the information you touch, and when you read, watch or listen…

Student's blogging contributes to Washington Post job

It wasn’t just the blog, but the fact that the student was entrepreneurial and dedicated. In the end, the blog honed a lot of my online skills and was an excellent precursor to the professional world. Additionally, because I was covering the very school I was attending, the blog served as a bridge from my academic life to the outside world. I found that as a student, I had access…

Scratch Stats

Scratch is a kid-friendly programming sandbox, designed by MIT in order to introduce kids to computer science concepts. I’ve been using it with my own children for a couple years, and am currently using it as a gentle introduction to development, for an upper-level class designed for the “New Media Journalism” program. http://stats.scratch.mit.edu/community/usersbyage.html

The Poynter Institute's Seminars

 I’m teaching a “New Media Projects” course, which aims to explore the connections between communication with words (linear, narrative) and communication with programming (interactive, procedural). Out in the wider world, The Poynter Institute hosted this session this week. I’m glad to see the profession moving beyond digital cameras and blogging. Programming for Journalists / Journalism for Programmers (N432-10) Never before have programmers offered so much promise to those who pursue…

Students, Welcome to College – Parents, Go Home

Grinnell College here, like others, has found it necessary to be explicit about when parents really, truly must say goodbye. Move-in day for the 415 freshmen was Saturday. After computer printers and duffle bags had been carried to dorm rooms, everyone gathered in the gymnasium, students on one side of the bleachers, parents on the other. The president welcoming the class of 2014 had his back to the parents —…

1

'I wrote 2U B4'! British Library shows up textspeak as soooo 19th century

One exhibit will be a BBC pronunciation guide from 1928, in which broadcasters are told to pronounce combat as cumbat and housewifery as huzzifry. There will be examples of the linguistic games people played, and a poem from Gleanings From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, published in 1867. In it, 130 years before the arrival of mobile phone texting, Charles C Bombaugh uses phrases such as “I wrote 2 U B…